Snow kindles a warm feeling in my heart ever since I first saw it a few years back. The white altar cloth draped over lonely buildings, deserted streets and singular lampposts reminds me of entering an abandoned house with covered furnishings. Last week, the first snow of the season drenched my eyes in blankness as I peered outside my hotel room window in Colorado. From a weekend of bright sunny days and fall colors splurging the city canvas with more colors than usual like a Fauvist painting, the cityscape shifted to a snow draped monochrome painting. Yet, what added color to this scene was the mood of the people, the kids playing around and making snow men, the adolescents kicking around in the snow, shaking trees to wet their friends.

I wondered what brought this abrupt change in mood and setting. It can be explained blandly and scientifically as the movement of a cold “front” or really cold air descending from the north, dropping the temperatures and causing all the rain drops to freeze and cover. Yet that explanation didn’t satisfy my thirst for explaining what I enjoyed so intrinsically. A romantic notion of snow, that I have never experienced during my formative years in the hot Tropics. What causes the air to change so abruptly yet in such a predictable manner? Weather forecasting has advanced much over the past several decades that I knew it would snow more than a week before it actually did. Yet when I got to Denver on a hot saturday, sweating after walking a few meters, I wondered, would it really snow in 3 days. Lo and behold, it did ! What was the tipping point that tilted the seesaw from hot dry air to cold dry snow! The moving of the cold air so suddenly into a region that was hot and sultry a day before?

How wonderful are the other tipping points we experience in life other than weather! Life itself! What causes the change of elements from non-living to living? Is the boundary grey and we see the difference only due to our binary definitions? Are the two states of being (non-living and living) actually two states like that of rain and snow? Or are they the same, like water in the rain and frozen water in snow across a tipping point called life? Many of our first experiences in life seem like tipping points. When we first learn to walk, learn the taste of something new, learn to read, a whole new world opens up hence. Until we recognize the gradients in everything. All seems later to be a continuous flow of experiences when in the beginning, the abrupt changes in our state of ignorance was filled with a warm cozy front of experiences sweeping through, snowing our senses with new flavors and striking new chords.


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